The state of Michigan is steering students in the right direction.
In 2006, the car capital of the world became the first state to require all high school students participate in an online course or learning experience prior to graduation in order to ensure they are prepared for online courses at the postsecondary level.
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It’s clear that the state’s policymakers value education and are willing to invest in the future of students.
Overview of Higher Education in Michigan
Michigan is home to 94 degree-granting institutions, according to a 2018-2019 report by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Of those, 46 are public schools, 40 are non-profit private schools and 8 are for-profit private schools.
To attend one of the state’s 4-year public institutions, the NCES reports that residents will pay approximately $12,888 Nonresidents will pay closer to $35,844. Both price tags are amongst the highest in the nation. Those in the Midwest, however, may get a break. Michigan is part of a nine-state tuition reciprocity program called the Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP).
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MSEP allows students to enroll at public colleges and universities in participating states while paying no more than 150% of the in-state tuition rate. This gives students access to a much greater selection of courses.
About Online Colleges in Michigan
In 2018, the NCES reported that 9.5% of college students in Michigan were enrolled exclusively in online courses, and another 16.1% were participating in a hybrid of online and on-campus courses.
Since then, online learning options have continued to grow considerably as schools have realized the need for flexible education alternatives. Today nearly every postsecondary school in the state offers online courses and/or degree programs.
At Michigan State University more than 100 graduate and undergraduate course are offered online, and students can choose from dozens of degree programs that are offered in both fully online and hybrid formats. Similarly, Central Michigan University offers dozens of online college programs at the undergraduate, graduate and certificate levels in popular areas like Business Administration, Nursing, Education and more.
At the community college level, 28 institutions have banded together to form Michigan Colleges Online (MCO). Following a simple enrollment process, MCO allows students to take courses from any member school and easily transfer the credits back to their home institution.
If you’re thinking about pursuing a degree at a college or university in Michigan, you should first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This will allow you to access federal, state and private financial aid.
Financial aid is typically awarded on a first come, first served basis, so it’s important to apply as soon as possible. The FAFSA application becomes available each year on October 1st. The application process itself is quite simple. You will need to answer questions about your finances and the finances of your parents (unless you’re considered “independent” by FAFSA’s standards).
The information you provide will be used to determine how much and what kind of financial aid you are offered. The best types of financial aid are grants and scholarships, because they do not have to be repaid. In Michigan, the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning, a department within the Michigan Department of Treasury, oversees a number of grant and scholarship programs for college students, including:
- Michigan Tuition Grant – Need based; Available to undergraduates at independent non-profit colleges and universities; Up to $2800
- Michigan Competitive Scholarship (MCS) – Need and merit based; For those who scored at least a 1200 on the SAT; Up to $1000 per year
- Tuition Incentive Program (TIP) – Need based; Incentive to complete high school by providing tuition assistance for college; Must meet Medicaid eligibility and apply prior to graduation
- Children of Veterans Tuition Grant – For the natural or adopted child of a Michigan veteran who is totally and permanently disabled, missing in action or deceased; Up to $2800 per year
- Police and Firefighter’s Survivor Tuition Grant – For the spouse or natural or adopted child of a police officer or firefighter who was killed in the line of duty; Waives full tuition
- Fostering Futures Scholarship (FFS) – For students who have formerly been in foster care; Up to $3000
While the programs above are state-funded, there are also numerous private scholarships available to the citizens of Michigan.
The Saginaw Community Foundation (SCF) works with individual donors as well as local nonprofits to administer more than 300 charitable funds and 150 scholarships. Students can register accounts and apply for funds via the website. Here are a few of the scholarships available through SCF:
|Scholarship Name||Scholarship amount|
|Brandon Walker “BW” Memorial Scholarship||Varies|
|Bernice Barlow NAACP Scholarship||Varies|
|Bernie Smillie Memorial Scholarship||Varies|
|Circle Michigan Scholarship||Varies|
|Clifford H. Spicer Memorial Scholarship||Varies|
Additional scholarship opportunities can be found at scholarship search sites like Fastweb.com, where you can enter basic information and be matched with dozens of scholarships available both locally and nation-wide.
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Each college and university also offers its own assistance options. Check with the financial aid office at the school you’re considering to find out what you may qualify for and how to apply.
List of Online Colleges in Michigan
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Baker College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
CMU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Cleary University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Cornerstone University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Davenport University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Eastern Michigan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Ferris State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Grace Bible College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Kettering University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
LTU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Madonna University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Michigan State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Michigan Technological University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Northern Michigan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Northwood University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Spring Arbor University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Michigan – Dearborn is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Michigan – Flint is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Western Michigan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The state of Michigan is clearly committed to higher education. With excellent financial aid programs and plenty of online learning opportunities, they’re driving that point home.